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McMurry College Senior Refused To Be Labeled A Failure; A Story of a Young Boy Who Saw a Positive Future in Darkest Times

By Frances Gonzalez-Boyd



All odds were against him while he was growing up in a dark world of destruction. One could say that the young teenager was a living miracle as he woke up one morning on glass and rubble at the back of a business property after he refused to take part in a transaction that would have put him behind bars.{{more}}This is a story about winning big when the odds against one are great. It is a story about tragedy and triumph. This is the Terrance Thomas story. “My mom, Willie, my younger brother, Justin and I would go to parking lots to ask people for money to buy food. We would make three to four hundred dollars every night but we would buy crack. I would always search for those kids I went to school with to see if they were in the parking lots. I was ashamed and did not want my friends to know what I was doing. I was afraid they were going to tell everybody about my activities. I was the shyest boy you ever met, and I never wanted anyone to see me because I knew what I did in those parking lots was wrong.” shares Thomas.Thomas said “When I was living with one of my aunts, even though she loved us, she often used alcohol. When she came home from work, she would go to her room and bring conclusion to the evening in a violent uproar, then she would beat us. I just wanted a way out, so I started cutting myself to escape my reality.” “It was hard for me to understand that God loves me unconditionally after all the crimes I’ve committed, all the lies I’ve told, and all the things I’ve stolen. It was hard for me to believe in myself, and I’ve had to understand through the pain and turmoil that God was working and laying out the blueprint for a life of empowerment.” said ThomasThe recognition of “good and evil” and Terrance’s determination allowed his conscience to remind him of the rewards he would reap for the good, and the punishment for the bad that he had done. That helped him at a young age to appreciate the positive reinforcement from visiting angels in his life. One of these angels could have been a gentleman at a church who Thomas’ remembers whispering in his ear one day while at a church. “Boy, you are going to change the world one day.” It was a man Thomas has never forgotten.While Thomas was a teenager he was invited to attend Wayside Baptist Church in his neighborhood. He started attending the church and participating in a youth group.During the time he was there, he came to a church camp retreat in Abilene. While he was at that camp Thomas was invited to visit McMurry College. Terrance would later submit an application to attend McMurry. Despite receiving a letter of rejection, he decided that it could have been a mistake. Thomas made a call to the college admissions office, and was accepted at McMurry in 2005 “I had a passion for History, Economics, and Government courses while I was younger. I wanted to understand the world around me. Eventually, I want to go into the Army.” Thomas said. While studying Political Science at McMurry, he was nominated to be Chief Justice of the Supreme Court at McMurry. His duties involved calling meetings about appeals that students had for certain violations. He also had to appoint Justices to the Supreme Courts. Playing important roles such as Chief Justice could open up doors in the future, but Thomas would rather tell his story to crowds and work with children in a church ministry since he received Christ in his life.While many individuals would have decided to throw in the towel and give in, to the Ft. Worth neighborhood that was drug infested and poverty stricken, Thomas did not. “My life experiences have taught me that God works in mysterious ways. The things that we accept as a nuisance are actually the very source of empowerment in our future.” Thomas said. Thomas claims that there are so many people who significantly made a difference in his life and motivated him to make positive changes for himself. “There is a combination of people that contributed their ideologies and philosophies that I was conditioned to believe. I do not think anyone is owed more credit than another. I cannot say there has just been that one mentor. There was a way out even after so much chaos and drama in Thomas’ life. Today, he is on the outside looking in. “As time goes on, I have found that the Lord was using my weaknesses to build my strongest assets. I am now able to approach company leaders and speak in front of many people because of my time as a child spent in parking lots asking people for money. It was a matter of embracing my circumstances that led me to understand that I was blessed beyond what I can comprehend because of my situation as a child. Somewhere along the way, I said, “This is a part of who I am. This is a part of me.” shares Thomas of his past. These days Thomas calls his mother on the phone, but does not trash her for his past experiences, and he has a better relationship with Justin who has accepted responsibility for his actions.What does Thomas believe about society and individuals who are unhappy with their lives? “They are internally self-destructing. Something I realized is that I am very blessed. In order to receive the Lord in my life, I started acknowledging the blessing that already existed. I had to start appreciating my childhood circumstance. I had to learn to appreciate the lesson while my mother was in prison.” Although, it has not been easy for Thomas while his circumstances were at times beyond his control he still had to make the right choices along the way. Even though Thomas has paid for his mistakes, the lessons he learned was a blessing because he chose not to quit believing in himself no matter what kind of peer pressure he faced. When Thomas walks down the aisle to receive his degree at his graduationceremony next spring in 2010 with his classmates, he will be rejoicing. “It will be a feeling of joy because it is a demonstration of something I did not think I could do. It represents a mountain that has been climbed and a victory in my life.” Thomas said. Thomas has already become an asset to others using his life experiences reaching out to the community. He has given his testimony at churches like Freedom Fellowship affiliated with Highland Church of Christ. Thomas invites the public to attend a project that is still a few months away. It is a seminar that he continues to implement.Thomas’ purpose for the seminar is to help others obtain important information out on how to build wealth. The keynote speaker will be Mr. Greg S. Reid, popular millionaire mentor, speaker, and author of thirty books about wealth. Thomas will also speak on the topic “Breaking the Cycle.”Abilene Civic Center, November, 21 at 7:00pm

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